It’s a tricky decision choosing to share poetry. Do you send it out in to the world without context and hope it hits people in the right way? Do you publish with clauses and explanations so as not to offend anyone it may be influenced by? Some (most) of my poems are too raw, too angry, too loaded to share. They’re nothing more than a rant to a friend, an evening sobbing on the sofa, a cringe inducing note found on your phone. They’re muddled and cloudy and not really poetry at all. The ‘good’ ones are the ones that draw on one of those thoughts and delve in to it; the ‘good’ ones are those that have been crafted and created, rather than splurged. There is thought, self-control, restrictions, liberties, not so as though it fits a perfectly grammatical, formulaic shape (the technicalities of poetry has always been a weak point of mine that I can never remember, understand, nor stick to), but rather so that it becomes sculpted around a core idea. Just like a message-laden article or the moral of the story, it takes a root and through words, shape, grammar and intonation grows it into a blossom of ideas. It’s then up to the reader to take the seedling and grow it in to one of the infinite blooms it could become.
My Dad once gifted me and my sister a book of his photos and poems and in his initial letter, he wrote this of the poems: ‘Like the photographs they capture a moment in time, however fleeting, and once committed to paper they reach out into a new future through the eyes of the beholder mixing with their thoughts to create new impressions of something that once was.’ To me, that is what makes a ‘good’ poem, one that is entirely open to the reader for their interpretation. William Sieghart’s The Poetry Pharmacy is filled with such poems, those which allow you to create those new impressions.
So with that in mind, I share the poem below. In doing so, I don’t share my personal story, or anyone else’s, but simply delve in to an idea that grabbed my attention. I share it today in the hope that as you read, you won’t search for anything in particular. Once again, Dad sums it up best. So, to parents, friends and nosy exes (all of whom make up the sum total of this blog’s following!), ‘Do not seek to find me in these words but rather take them for yourself and make your own sense’. Strangers, do not seek to find something in particular either – let what comes up come up and if it washes over you, sometimes that’s an equally pleasurable experience!
It’s easy to get caught up
Lost in the when and where
To lose sight of what’s right in front of you
Disregard it without a care.
People search for something special:
An endeavour for sparkling conversation.
They seek to elaborate, expand,
Establish a rigid explanation.
‘Why do you hold on to hope?’
‘What’s your aim in life?’
‘Have you ever been in love?’
‘Tell me more about your strife.’
They smile when you prove an anger
Like they’ve unlocked a gate.
You’re proved you can love and laugh –
Now seethe, shake. Hate.
Suddenly your endearing,
Suddenly, you’ve got a charm.
But the thing which they take pleasure from
Is what causes the most harm.
But these endeavours are empty
What they seek, they’re unlikely to find.
They are in need of something more,
But I? I have nothing to unwind.
So while they search and hunt,
Walk a rope pulled hard and tight,
I’ll remain open and free,
Following any sort of guiding light.
I’m not caught up, nor lost
Though I don’t know the whats, whens or whos.
I’m strong and present and peaceful here,
Unshaken by searchers like you.
Written by Katherine Warren.